Viewing cable 07AMMAN3796

07AMMAN37962007-09-12 13:02:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Amman

DE RUEHAM #3796/01 2551302
P 121302Z SEP 07
E.O. 12958: N/A 
¶1. (SBU) Embassy Amman warmly welcomes the visit of CODEL Baucus to 
Jordan from September 16-17, 2007, as requested in reftel.  The 
travelers should carefully review this message, especially the 
threat assessment at paragraph 8. 
¶2. (SBU) Control officer for this visit is Mark Wilson, Economic 
Officer.  Contact information is as follows:  962-6-590-6225 
(office); 962-6-592-7653 (fax); 962-6-585-9657 (home); 
962-79-560-8995 (mobile); and  The Embassy's 
after-hours telephone number is +962-6-590-6500. 
¶3. (SBU) Hotel reservations are being made for the delegation at the 
Grand Hyatt Hotel, phone number 962 (465) 1234.  Cost is at a rate 
within per diem; breakfast is included in the room rate.  Due to 
security concerns in Jordan (para 8) TDY personnel are assigned 
hotels on a rotational basis.  Therefore, Embassy Amman will make 
the final decision on hotel accommodations for all visitors.  The 
Embassy will provide expeditor assistance upon arrival and 
¶4. (U) Valid visas are required for entry into Jordan.  Visas may be 
obtained at Queen Alia airport though not at all land border 
crossings; however, Embassy Amman suggests visitors obtain their 
visas prior to arrival, as there can be long queues for visa 
issuance at the airport.  Money can be exchanged at Queen Alia 
airport or in the delegation's control room. 
¶5. (U) ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES: Each visitor, regardless of length 
of stay, must have fiscal data to pay for direct costs of the visit. 
 Each agency, organization, or visiting delegation will be charged 
for the actual costs attributed to the visit.  Direct charge costs 
include, but are not limited to, American and LES overtime (for such 
services as airport expediting, cashier accommodation exchange, 
control room staffing, representational event support), travel and 
per diem costs incurred by post personnel in support of visitor's 
field travel, rental of vehicles and other equipment, long distance 
telephone calls, office supplies, gasoline and other vehicle 
maintenance costs, departure tax, and other airport fees. 
¶6. (U) HEALTH:  Although Jordan does not pose any unusual health 
hazards for visitors, the quality of health care facilities is not 
up to the U.S. or European standards, particularly outside of Amman. 
 As medications on the local economy are often in short supply, 
visitors should bring sufficient medications to post for their 
chronic medical problems.  Immunizations should be current for 
Tetanus and Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B.  Visitors should drink 
bottled water rather than tap water.  Food in the hotels and most 
restaurants is safe to eat, but some of the smaller local 
restaurants do not always observe proper food handling procedures. 
Only those personnel covered under the State Department's medical 
program and who have a valid medical clearance for Jordan are 
eligible for a medical evacuation at USG cost.  All other visitors 
are advised to have their own medical evacuation insurance to cover 
evacuation by air ambulance.  Otherwise it will be necessary to 
ensure that the respective agency will cover any costs related to a 
medical evacuation.  All local hospitals take major credit cards. 
State Department regulations and Embassy policies, visitors 
requesting unescorted access to the Embassy compound should inform 
RSO Amman of their security clearance level (if any) and should name 
the agency that granted that clearance.  Telegrams containing this 
information should include the "ASEC" tag to ensure distribution to 
the RSO. 
Electronic devices:  RSO approval must be obtained before any 
electronic device is brought into the Embassy. Privately owned 
laptops and personal computers, peripherals, diskettes, and tapes 
are prohibited in all mission facilities.  Cellular/mobile phones 
and palm pilots are prohibited in controlled access areas. 
Travelers with USG-owned unclassified laptops or notebook computers, 
peripherals, diskettes, and tapes must receive RSO/IMO authorization 
before being granted access to U.S. Mission buildings.  USG-owned 
classified computers must be sent to post via classified diplomatic 
pouch.  Classified equipment must bear external USG bar-code 
inventory numbers and classification markings commensurate with the 
highest level of information processed on the system.  Questions 
concerning other types of electronic devices and magnetic media may 
be directed to the RSO and IMO. 
Mandatory personal security training:  Per 04 STATE 66580, all 
employees traveling to post for 30 days or more (whether PCS or TDY) 
must have completed the mandatory personal security training (State 
Department Security Overseas Seminar or equivalent) before arriving 
at post.  Agencies must provide the Chief of Mission with 
certification that this training will be completed prior to the 
employee's travel.  Failure to do so will result in denial of 
country clearance. 
¶8. (U) THREAT ASSESSMENT: The threat of terrorism remains high in 
Jordan.  Transnational terrorist groups, as well as less 
sophisticated local elements, have demonstrated the capability to 
pose threats in Jordan.  The Al-Qaida in Iraq network (AQIZ) in 
particular continues to focus its terrorist activities against U.S. 
and Government of Jordan (GOJ) targets in Jordan.  AQIZ claimed 
responsibility for the November 9, 2005 bombings of three 
international hotels in Amman, which killed 60 people and injured 
over 100.  Pedestrian suicide bombers wearing explosive vests 
carried the bombs into the hotels.  AQIZ also claimed responsibility 
for the Aqaba rocket attacks on August 19, 2005, which killed on 
Jordanian soldier and wounded another.  The assassination of 
American diplomat Larry Foley outside his west Amman residence on 
October 28, 2002 was also attributed to AQIZ leader Abu Musab 
Al-Zarqawi, who was killed in Iraq in June 2006. 
In addition, there has been a series of serious, confirmed terrorist 
threats and disrupted terrorist plots targeting U.S. or Jordanian 
interests in Jordan.  In February 2006, the Government of Jordan 
(GOJ) disrupted a terrorist cell plotting to attack Queen Alia 
International Airport.  In November 2005, the GOJ indicted six men 
for planning to carry out attacks against Americans at hotels and 
bars in Amman and Aqaba.  In August-September 2005, four militants 
were arrested for plotting assassinations of Americans in Jordan. 
In July 2005, GOJ authorities arrested 17 men linked to AQIZ who had 
planned to assassinate GOJ officials and Americans in Jordan.  In 
February 2005, four men were arrested for plotting attacks against 
GOJ officials, tourists and five-star hotels.  In the same month, 
another four-man group was disrupted while plotting to attack liquor 
stores in Amman and foreign tourists in Aqaba. 
Terrorists often do not distinguish between U.S. government 
personnel and private citizens.  Terrorists may target areas 
frequented by Westerners, such as tourist sites, hotels, 
restaurants, bars, nightclubs, liquor stores, transportation hubs, 
places of worship, expatriate residential areas, and schools.  In 
light of these security concerns, Americans are urged to maintain a 
high level of vigilance, to be aware of their surroundings, and to 
take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.  It is 
especially important for travelers to be unpredictable by varying 
their times and routes and to maintain a low profile.  Moreover, 
Americans are urged to avoid contact with any suspicious or 
unfamiliar objects and to immediately report the presence of such 
objects to the authorities. 
Anti-American and anti-Western sentiment exists in Jordan and has 
been sparked on occasion by incidents in the region, particularly 
those related to Israeli/Palestinian issues and, to a lesser extent, 
Iraq.  This may lead to random acts of violence against Westerners. 
On September 4, 2006, a gunman fired on foreigners at a popular 
tourist site in central Amman, killing one and injuring six. 
Travelers are advised to avoid any demonstrations or large 
gatherings of people, especially during times of increased tension. 
Many demonstrations occur near mosques after Friday prayers. 
Consequently, special sensitivity and caution should be exercised at 
or near mosques and religious sites during holy days and the Friday 
Muslim Sabbath.  Demonstrations also often take place at 
universities and refugee camps. 
Crime is generally not a serious problem for travelers in Jordan, 
but petty crime is prevalent in the downtown Amman Hashimiyah Square 
area and near the Roman amphitheater. In the narrow streets of the 
older parts of the city center, crowded conditions invite 
pickpockets and other petty criminals.  Travelers are urged to be 
more guarded in these areas so that they do not present easy 
opportunities for criminals. 
In central and west Amman, there have been reports of thieves 
snatching pedestrians' purses from moving vehicles and then driving 
off.  In some instances, victims were injured when they were unable 
to free themselves from their purses.  When carrying a purse, it 
would be wise to conceal it if possible, to avoid walking near the 
road within reach of passing vehicles, and to walk against the flow 
of traffic. 
Jordanian police have warned the public to exercise vigilance when 
leaving banks or ATM machines, as thieves have reportedly preyed 
upon persons soon after using these services. 
Western women both visiting and residing in Jordan report sexual 
harassment and unwelcome advances of a sexual nature.  There have 
been isolated reports of assault.  Women are advised to take 
reasonable precautions including dressing conservatively and not 
traveling alone.  Modest attire should be worn in deference to local 
¶9. (U) TRAVEL GUIDELINES: American citizens and official visitors 
traveling in Jordan should exercise caution, be alert, and stay 
informed of regional and local events that could quickly impact the 
security environment in the country.  It is also recommended to 
maintain a low profile and not establish predictable patterns of 
movement, even if only visiting for a short period.  Taxis are the 
only form of public transportation that is recommended. 
For further information, see the State Department's Consular 
Information Sheet for Jordan at 
and link from that site to the most recent Public Announcement on 
Travel in the Middle East and South Asia and the most recent 
Worldwide Caution. 
Visit Amman's Classified Web Site at